JOHN MCDOUGAL was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1818. He served in the Black Hawk War, and was a captain during the Mexican War. McDougal came to California as a gold miner in 1849, and also served as a member to the California Constitutional Convention that same year. He served as California’s lieutenant governor from 1849 to 1851. When Governor Peter H. Burnett resigned from office on January 9, 1851, McDougal who was lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the office of governor. During his term, the San Francisco Vigilance Committee was organized in June 1851, lasting only four months before disbanding. McDougal opposed legislation that would outlaw dueling; stating that those who dueled weren’t fit to live and they would eventually kill each other off. After finishing Governor Burnett’s term, McDougal left office on January 8, 1852. McDougal later was involved in two separate duels, wounding a newspaper editor in one, and getting arrested in the other. Governor John McDougal died in San Francisco, on March 30, 1866.
Official Records: California State Archives
Personal Papers: California State Library
Image source: California State Library: Governors' Gallery
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.